Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?
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  1. #1
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    Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    I'm a newb getting back into high end audio after a 40+ year hiatus. Just wondered if there's a clear cut favorite? I'm especially interested to hear why one is chosen over the other.

    Are tube amps generally considered superior or do they just sound different? It seems to me that high end audiophiles prefer tubes. But I've also read that there have been many improvements to SS amps making them the relative equals of tube amps.

  2. #2
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    For pure sound enjoyment, I prefer all tubes in my amp and preamp. I usually default to a tube preamp and solid state amp for convenience. Tubes require more maintenance but some of the newer or more advanced tube gear have protections built in for aging and failing tubes.

    Tubes are a little sweeter and can have a little more air and three dimension. Solid state is usually rock solid reliable. If you are a set and forget kind of guy, solid state is easier to use. Every amp and preamp sounds a little different and depending on speakers, you need to pick what sounds best to you.
    Joe

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  4. #3
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    Solid state. I have no desire to fuss with tubes.

  5. #4
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    Like Joe I would prefer all tubes but in the end the heat from higher powered tube amps is too much so I end up with tube pre-amps and SS or Hybrid amps.
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  6. #5
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    All tubes. But admittedly, solid state today is kicking ass and taking names.

    I guess I still find tubes still win out for ultimate organic sound.

    Love tubes on my guitar amp too.


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  7. #6
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    Going from SS to tubes at the moment, enjoy tweaking the sound characteristics by rolling tubes, different flavors from the same amp! As has been said, many circuits are designed to minimize wear on the tubes so they can last a long time.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    Forgot to mention I use both tube and SS preamps for recording. I use the tube pre (Universal LA610) for vocals and bass and I use a SS pre (Millennia HV-3C) that's specifically designed for acoustic instruments) for acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin.

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  10. #8
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    I too prefer a tube or hybrid-tube pre-amplifier running with a solid-state power amplifier.

    It's kind of like the best of both worlds.

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  12. #9
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    Since I can't have both tube and SS systems at this point, I have solid state. I prefer the typically faster transients and leading edges solid state provides.

    The lines are becoming more blurred between the two in regards to killing stereotype sound characters. However, to get tubes that approach the control of SS, and SS with the virtues of tubes, you have to spend some sizeable sums of money.

    Another must for me is horse power. I suppose I could get pretty close to what I wanted in tubes with an Octave Audio integrated and an efficient speaker that sounded good.

    It really comes down to your taste and what your ears like. Though I listen to a lot of higher energetic music at time, if I had found what I was looking for in a more efficient speaker back when I had my CJ system, things might be different right now. I still may not have the leading edges or fastest transients, but there's trade offs and other aspects keep you from caring.
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  13. #10
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    Re: Do you prefer SS or tube? Why?

    No substitute for power IMO ,,

    Matching amp to load is whats most critical, a good SET on the right speaker load is hard to beat , i have in the past heard it done by well built and sorted SS amps , a rare beast today apparently ...

    Only a handful of Tooby amps actually sounds good , same for SS , SS works for me, Toobs do too ..

    All about the load ...

    Regards

 

 
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